11 Ways to Annoy Your Spouse/Partner With Your Saltwater Tank (And How to Get Out of Trouble)

Your spouse/partner says they love your tank as much as you do, but if you make these mistakes, you’ll be sleeping on the floor next to your tank.

1: Leave the skimmate from your skimmer sitting in the sink all day.

Use a good biodegradable soap to clean it up.

2: You use their “nice” towels as fish tank towels.

Bed, Bath and Beyond has crazy deals on towels. Get on their list for coupons here and surprise them with the latest fashions.

3: Let them know that you can’t eat out this month because you just bought a new frag.

Explain to them it is an investment…you’ll be able to frag it later and buy LOTS of dinners…at their favorite place!

4: Thaw out your frozen fish food on the counter. (Don’t forget the garlic extract)

Thawing it in the refrigerator will keep the odor down.

5: Ask them to start a siphon by sucking on the end of the siphon hose.

Make sure you tell them to stop sucking right before the water gets to the end of the hose. It’s the least you could do.

6: You broke up their favorite coral colony because you hit it while you were re-arranging your aquascaping.

If you know what you are doing, you’ll be able to eat out again that month.

7: Put the frozen fish food in with the human food in the freezer.

Putting it on the top rack will save your butt on this one.

8: Spill saltwater on the nice hardwood floors or carpet.

Having fish-specific towels on hand will help. Just make sure you don’t make mistake #2 while cleaning it up.

9: Trade in their favorite fish

What were you going to do? It was nipping at your corals…that you can frag one day and take them out to dinner…

10: Spend hours a day on fish forums and have nothing to show for it.

If they ask you how all that forum time is helping your tank, you are hosed. But hey! There are worst places to spend time online!

11: Tell them you need a bigger tank.

Remember, bigger tank, more room for corals…more room for frags…more dinners out…see the trend?


What’s been your mistakes that involved your spouse and tank? And how did you get out of it?

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Comments for this article (24)

  • Joe cashwell says:

    I have never done #9. as for #1 I cleaned my skimmer cup in the kitchen sink three months into my wife’s pregnancy while she was sensitive to smell….
    No, I will never do that again… I had two messes to clean up.

  • Cam Turner says:

    Tell your wife that you want to try a saltwater tank after years of freshwater. Then make her look at rocks curing and growing brown goo for two months, followed by crabs fighting for another two weeks. Then just as you say “We can get fish now!” and she expects the complete rainbow… you bring home two of Bangaii Cardinal fish and a pair Black Darwin Occellaris clowns.

    She’s happy now that we have the flame angel and a RBTA too, but it was dicey there for a while.

  • Dennis says:

    Funny stuff Mark. But we want VIDEOS!!!!!

  • Scott jarboe says:

    I got one how about when your wife says ” hey
    I never seen that coral before in a concernd tone!
    I say ” oh that one,,,that is a new cutting from
    a existing coral that has grown,Or that came
    on my live rock and has spread to create
    a new colony! Or can I get a coral and you
    can get a new pair of shoes,,,,that works

  • Carlos says:

    I just got an earful tonight because I got a new uv sterilizer and a pump. Perfect timing…..

  • Sky says:

    I just got into a mini argument with my wife after reading this with her. Big mistake LOL. She absolutely hates having frozen fish food in the freezer.

  • Eric says:

    I try to do as many of those things as I can just to see how much I can get away with.

    Also, my biggest mistake (or best salesmanship) was getting her to believe that the tank wasn’t going to cost THAT much money to get running.

    To get out of the doghouse I just buy her something for her planted freshwater tank. “You spent how much on that fish!?” “But I got you some more Amano shrimp for your tank too dear!”

  • Byron says:

    My wife likes my tank because it makes me happy. I only have problems if I hurt myself while moving a lot of sand/live rock all at once by myself without any help. I messed my back up once and she was mad with me for being too into my tank, suggesting we get rid of it!

  • john says:

    mark this is by far the best subject yet kudos

  • Just Jen says:

    Mark, you have a young baby. You won’t be eating out for a while and it has nothing to do with fragging corals. Welcome to parenthood.

  • Kyle McClung says:

    I talked my wife into letting me buy all the live in a 180G tank. Coral, fish and rock. It was 514 Miles away. We drove there, slept in the car, woke up and drove to the persons house. It was around 4 hours of work. Didn’t count on that long. Then drove all the way home… Wrost idea EVER.

    And to solve this one. Admit that it was a mistake, tell her it was for profit give her a frag for her tank if she has one. Do you ever feel like an underpant gnome?

  • Kyle….ouch! How long did it take you get out of the dog house on that one?

  • Thanks for the reminder Jen! :p

  • Joe…that’s hilarious! Im sure you were not laughing then, but right now, it’s funny!

  • Brandon A. says:

    Thats Sooo funny!! I’m sitting here shaking my head as I read each one. I’m like 6 out of the 11! I’m still a fairly newly wed, so I’m learning. Now I know I’m not alone!! Thanks for the funny post!!!

  • Tim Shannon says:

    ALWAYS, greet the wife and kids first, then check out the tank, that way you avoid the “you think more of that #$%@ tank than you do us”. I learnd this one the hard way!!

  • Rick M. says:

    I forwarded this to my wife and yes I have or am still doing most of these. She is very supportive of my hobby/projects. Thank you for a good laugh.

  • Rick M. says:

    Very funny Tim. I am right there with you.

  • Kyle McClung says:

    Umm, she knew I felt bad about the choice so only a short time. But she reminds me of it now and then. I bought a bigger tank and gave her my 30G nano. Since then its been better. I just bought a 180 myself but it will take some time to setup. Mark I want to pick your mind on LEDs and my current setup.

    40G breeder, 4 panormas and 2 p/c…. I feel like its not enough lighting and that LED’s arn’t ready.

  • Tristen Welham says:

    We had a 320l FW that was getting a little neglected. Always wanted to start a SW, knew the basics in my head. Always said that when we move I would start SW.

    One day me and the wife took my niece Ice Skating, on the way home we popped in to a Fish Shop to look at the livestock when I hear ‘look a starfish, i like the red one and that thing there’ (Blue Cheek Gobie). 2 hrs later, ‘we could do the tank, I’ll help cleaning?’


    Next Day, remaining fish went to LFS, water out, gravel out, Wife in bathroom scrubbing filters, pumps and then the tank.

    Now she has her Gobies and Feather Dusters. she just sits there watching the tank Quite as a Mouse (BONUS!).

    Umm… If your reading Emma, ‘Love You!’

  • Tristen…Hahaha! Corrupting your niece…nice!

  • Jeff says:

    Hey Mark… Great videos, but how long did it take to cycle your tank, and did you use any bottled bacteria?

  • Jeff…I used another product at the time, but now I recommend this stuff. I’ve personally met with the guy who makes it and I’ve used it on tanks I’ve set up.

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